Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Rickshaw puller-turned entrepreneur strikes it rich
Machine developed by Yamunanagar villager processes herbs to extract juice; residue is used for making candy, sweets and other items
Six years ago Dharamvir LUDHIANA: Singh used to pull a rickshaw, making a couple of hundred rupees per day. Today, this 46-year-old resident of Damla village in Haryana's Yamunanagar district earns a couple of lakhs per month and employs nearly three dozen women — thanks to a portable multipurpose processing unit he developed.
The unit, capable of processing various herbal plants to extract items like gels and juices, was on display at an exhibition organised by the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Singh's life changed in 2006 when he started working on this project, which he completed in 2007.
“As a daily-wage earner, I used to earn R200-300 a day,” he said. “In 2006, I saw women in the village peel vegetables and herbal plants with their hands and often got cuts in the process. That’s when I got the idea of making this machine.”
The machine — a cooker, grinder, mixture, processor and juicer rolled into one — processes herbs to extract gel and juice, and the residue is used for making candy, sweets and other items. “It has the capability of processing around 200 kg of herbal products and fruits in an hour,” Singh said. Once he developed the machine, Singh also started growing aloe vera and amla on two acres of his ancestral land and through the machine, prepared juice, gel, shampoo and sweets from aloe vera and amla. He has employed 35 women for his business and also sells units of the machine. He has sold 65 units so far - one even got exported to Kenya. He even trains buyers on how to use it. “From the herbal products I am earning around R24 lakh (per annum) and I sell each machine for R1.35 lakh,” Singh said.